Cabinet de Luxe

Early Thonet Folding Chair, Vienna c.1890



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An early Gebruder Thonet folding chair, designed by Michael Thonet 1866. This example probably brought to Australia in the late 19th or early 20th century.

Due to lack of availablity of professional repair and original materials in Australia during the early 1900s, the seat has been ingeniously rewoven using a flax (linen) cord and the chair, including repaired seat, then painted.

Presented as found. The adaptation of the seat with flax cord is an excellent example of the ingenuity shown by immigrants and settlers in the late 19th and early 20th century in Australia.

Structurally sound and comfortable as is. Not in danger of falling apart if you want to sit in it.

Other such examples are held in the Powerhouse Museum Sydney, MOMA New York and museum collections worldwide.

Designer Michael Thonet
Maker Gebruder Thonet
Materials Beech, binding cane, flax
Condition Splitting at corners of bentwood in several places. Cane loss. Beech timber of legs and back supports in good condition. Some checking/splitting at ends of cross supports. No structural breaks. Original hardware. Flaking paint.
Reference Another adapted chair:
Height 915 mm
Width 460 mm
Depth 762 mm